ANNALS OF OTOLOGY RHINOLOGY AND LARYNGOLOGY, vol.105, no.10, pp.776-783, 1996 (SCI-Expanded)
The sinus tympani (ST) is a critical anatomic region of the temporal bone. Il lies medial to the facial nerve, between the ponticulus and the subiculum, and therefore is not easily visualized by routine surgical approaches to the middle ear and mastoid. This limited access makes the ST a site that is notorious for residual cholesteatoma. An extensive evaluation of the anatomic dimensions of the ST was made from human temporal bones. Three hundred twenty-seven bones were examined at four standardized levels to describe the dimensions and anatomic relationships of the ST with other structures of the temporal bone. The region of the stapedial tendon was found to be the most limited anatomic substructure in the vicinity of the ST. This study demonstrates the feasibility of a retrofacial approach to the ST as an aid in eradication of otherwise hidden disease.